This month, Alex Nicholls – Sales Manager, Digital – answers some questions about the success of City Walk, the current OOH market and the lead-up to 2020
- Hi Alex, welcome to the first BackLite Newsletter of 2019. By all accounts, 2018 was a tough year – What are your views?
Thanks – it’s good to be here. Yes, 2018 was a very tough year across the board with a lot of uncertainty in the market causing marketing budgets to be cut. However, saying this our assets still performed well, one of the major reasons for this is due to the prime locations of our assets on Sheikh Zayed Road
- And what about 2019 and the lead-up to 2020?
I expect 2019 to begin like 2017 and 2018 with further uncertainty and more reduction in budgets. Clients are becoming more particular in their spending and counting every dirham they spend. It is our job to help and advice the clients best we can to ensure they get the most from their campaign using our years of knowledge in the industry.
I am optimistic for 2020 with many companies seeing this as a great opportunity to increase their business.
- City Walk has been a great success since its opening in 2016 – what makes it such an attractive location for advertisers?
City Walk is fantastic and a great place to visit for both tourists and residents. The biggest attractions for advertisers are the location and the assets. The location is a favourite among the Emiratis and other Arabs who have a high disposable income and difficult to reach by other mediums. The assets include 52, high quality, digital screens. This includes some of the biggest screens in the market that face the busy Safa Road which is riddled with traffic lights. The screens can play video making them eye-catching, more memorable and easier for clients to tell a story. We have had some amazing artworks by the likes of Van Cleef, Messika, Chanel and so many more.
- And you must be excited about the addition of other Meraas destinations – La Mer, The Beach & Al Seef?
I am extremely excited to offer my clients the other Meraas destinations all of them offering something unique whether it’s the screens or the locations themselves. The Beach has proven to be a very popular venue for the last 5 years with traffic always very high. La Mer is a beautiful destination with the extra attraction of Laguna waterpark and on a media side, we have a huge rotating digital screen which is a first of its kind in this market. Al Seef is the new kid on the block with lovely views over the creek and some of the best restaurants in town.
- How do you see the advertising industry changing over the coming years?
I have already seen some big changes over the last 5 years with the growth of digital and online advertising though I see the growth slowing as clients realise they still need to diversify their marketing approach for best results. The biggest change for the OOH industry will be the push for more high quality, digital screens for the reasons I mentioned before about being more effective for clients.
This is great news for me as the Meraas destinations already offer the best screens in the most popular locations in Dubai.